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Why I don’t want to share a drink with you this Australia Day

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

“The fact the rest of the country wants to rejoice on this day makes us feel like we are the only house on the street not invited to the party.”

OPINION - Aborginal people have been silenced for a long part of Australia's history but today our voice roared louder than ever before.

As I walked through the streets of Sydney surrounded by thousands of my brothers and sisters, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, I had goosebumps.

I felt an overwhelming sense passion for my people; a sense of pride for what we have endured and how we have turned our pain into progress.

Today, I saw the wheels of change moving – albeit slowly, make no mistake, they are moving.

Australia Day – or as it's known to a lot of Indigenous Australians, Invasion Day – is one I am beginning to understand more.

When I was a young man growing up on the Gold Coast, I was the first one out having a drink with my friends on January 26.

I would run around draped in the Australian flag celebrating a country we are all so blessed to call home.

I was uneducated.

At the age of 26, I am really beginning to comprehend what January 26 represents.

For Indigenous people, it marks the beginning of a destruction of our beautiful culture; a culture that thrived in one of the harshest lands on Earth for more than 65,000 years.

It is a day of mourning for our people, a day we don't want to celebrate.

The fact the rest of the country wants to rejoice on this day makes us feel like we are the only house on the street not invited to the party.

That's what today's 'Change The Date' march is all about.

Listening to the traditional owners of this land, acknowledging their pain and making a small change to help right the wrongs they have unjustly suffered.

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Thousands rally across the nation for ‘Invasion Day’ protests

It's not your fault, but that doesn't mean you can't help.

Today, I flanked a small but very powerful group of high-profile Indigenous players who are at the coal-face of the issue.

Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, James Roberts, Dane Gagai, Joel Thompson, Adam Elliott and George Rose did the walk together along with their family and friends.

These guys are a new breed of athlete, a group that doesn't care for being politically correct or having to toe the line.

They have huge profiles and are using them to create positive change.

Have a listen to what they have to say if you want to learn more about the oldest surviving culture on the planet.

Source: 9News

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